Use Your Voice: Don’t Forget to Vote

We have a few months before the elections, so even if you haven’t registered to vote yet, there’s plenty of time to get ready to play your part in how they turn out. Do you wonder if you should bother? Well, to choose just one issue, these elections will have an enormous effect on your children. Now do you think you should bother?

For example, in the Los Angeles Unified District elections you vote for the representative who you would like to join or remain on the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education for a four-year term. Seven board members each represent one of the city’s seven districts. You have the ability to determine who is aligned with positions that matter to you and your children and bring them to the rest of the board. Your board member will be involved in decisions that will have a direct effect on school funding, curriculum, programs, new schools, classroom materials, equal educational opportunities.

They say “It’s always different when it hits home.” Well, here you have it LAUSD residents. School policy is already in your home. Whether you want things to change or not, your voice matters tremendously.

If you want public officials to hear your voice, here are some guidelines on how to make that happen.

First, you need to know if you’re allowed to vote.

If you meet the following requirements then you can vote.

You must be a United States citizen.

You must be a resident of California.

You must be at least 18 years of age on Election Day.

You can not be currently on parole or imprisoned for the conviction of a felony. Find out more.

You can not currently be found mentally incompetent by a court of law.

You also need to be registered to vote. Think you might have registered in the past?

If you think you might have already registered to vote, you can find out here.

If you haven’t registered yet, you’ll need to get that done. It’s free.

You can register online or have a paper application mailed to you by calling the toll-free hotline (800) 345-VOTE. Applications are also available at the DMV, post offices, libraries, and county elections offices.

Do I ever need to re-register to vote?

In some instances, like the ones listed below, you will need to register again.

If you moved to a new permanent residence.

If you changed your name.

If you changed your political party.

You can obtain more information on registering to vote here.

According to the Los Angeles Voting Statistics lots of eligible voters haven’t registered. If someone knocked at your door and asked what you wanted out of your child’s school, would you say, “It doesn’t matter to me”? Not if someone gave you the chance to make a difference. You would take the opportunity to say at least that you want out of your child’s school to provide them with the education they deserve. When you vote, you are expressing what you want in your political leaders.

If you don’t vote, you are choosing to stay quiet, and it sends the message that whatever happens is fine. And our children’s education should never be a matter of “whatever happens is fine.” Let’s get out and vote because our children need–and deserve–a high quality education. You can help work to get it for them. All you have to do is vote.

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Monica Luna Gonzalez

Monica Luna Gonzalez

Monica Luna Gonzalez is a mom of two children. Her oldest is a high school senior and her youngest is not quite ready for school- he prefers the sandbox these days. She was a teen mom who graduated from Bell High School despite the challenges that came from being a teen mom. She wishes she would have been prepared for college right after high school which is why she wants to help other Latinas improve their children's chances for a better education. She is a non-traditional college student as she returned to college 18 years after graduating from high school.

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